Skyline University Nigeria

Are Electric Vehicles Really Green?

Electric vehicles, also known as EVs, are increasingly being promoted as the environmentally responsible alternative to conventional gasoline-powered automobiles. At the exhaust pipe, they produce zero emissions, which means that none of the airborne contaminants that are hazardous to our health is emitted. On the other hand, many believe that the manufacturing and disposal of electric vehicles can be just as harmful to the environment as gasoline-powered vehicles. So, do electric cars truly help the environment?

When it comes to emissions produced while in operation, electric vehicles are unquestionably more environmentally friendly than gasoline-powered automobiles. Even when taking into account the emissions from power plants that generate the electricity that is used to charge electric vehicles, the Union of Concerned Scientists reports that electric vehicles still produce fewer emissions that contribute to global warming than gasoline-powered vehicles do in the majority of areas of the United States. This is because electric vehicles are superior to gasoline-powered automobiles in terms of their energy efficiency and the production of electricity is getting cleaner as a result of the shift toward the use of renewable energy sources.

In addition to producing less pollution, electric vehicles come with a host of other advantages. They have the potential to lower air pollution levels, bolster energy security, and lessen reliance on oil. In addition, they have fewer operating expenses, are typically quieter, and are easier to operate smoothly. Also, as technology continues to advance, the price of electric vehicles is decreasing, making them more reasonable and available to a wider variety of customers.



Yet, the environmental impact of EVs is not limited to the use of the vehicles themselves. The assembly of electric vehicles demands a substantial amount of energy, in particular for the fabrication of the batteries that power the vehicles. The extraction and processing of the elements required to make the battery, such as lithium and cobalt, can also have an adverse effect on the environment and the community. These repercussions include the consumption of water and land, the creation of pollution, and the violation of human rights in certain mining communities.

For instance, lithium mining in the Salar de Atacama region of Chile has been connected to a lack of available water, the degradation of the soil, and damage to the ecosystems of the surrounding area. Concerns have been raised regarding the use of child labour and other violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is the location of the majority of the world’s cobalt mines.

The recycling of electric vehicles is another source of environmental strain. Even while it is possible to recycle the batteries used in electric vehicles, the process is not currently commercially viable; therefore, most batteries wind up in landfills. These batteries have the potential to leach harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil as well as the groundwater, which poses a risk to both human and environmental health.

The advantages of electric vehicles continue to exceed their disadvantages, notwithstanding the environmental concerns that have been raised. Both the manufacturing of electric vehicles and their eventual disposal will become more environmentally friendly as technological advancements are made. For instance, manufacturers are looking into ways to cut back on the usage of rare and expensive metals in batteries, and they are also inventing recycling processes that are both more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

In addition, governments have a significant part to play in encouraging the use of electric vehicles and assisting in the development of environmentally responsible production and disposal procedures. They can, for instance, provide financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, invest in infrastructure for charging, and control the usage of materials that are harmful to the environment.

Customers can also make a difference by selecting to buy electric vehicles and disposing of their batteries in an eco-friendly manner if they so want. Companies can also support legislation that promotes environmental responsibility and encourage environmental responsibility among businesses by encouraging manufacturers to emphasize sustainability in their production processes.

In conclusion, electric vehicles are a more environmentally friendly option than cars fueled by gasoline when it comes to the pollutants they produce while being driven. Despite this, their manufacture and disposal may nevertheless have unfavourable effects on the surrounding ecosystem. It is incumbent upon governments, automakers, and customers to collaborate to lessen the negative effects that electric vehicles have on the environment and transform them into a form of transportation that is really sustainable.


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Banza Lubaba Nkulu, C., Casas, L., Haufroid, V., De Putter, T., Saenen, N. D., Kayembe-Kitenge, T. & Nemery, B. (2018). Sustainability of artisanal mining of cobalt in DR Congo.Sustainabilitynability, 1(9), 495-504.

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Agada Apeh Andrew is a Lecturer II at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, School of Sciences and Information Technology at the Skyline University Kano, Nigeria. He obtained his BSc in Mathematics from Benue State University, Makurdi and MSc in Mathematics from the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola.

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